As Firefox infiltrates the enterprise, its market share will increase

As Firefox infiltrates the enterprise, its market share will increase

Summary: As a follow-up to my previous post about Firefox market share increasing, note that the XiTi website has some interesting stats Firefox will continue its upward trend, as Enterprises start using it more and graphics showing that Firefox take-up is much higher in parts of Europe and Oceania than in the US, Asia and other parts of the world. With 20% market share across Europe and just below 20% in Australia and New Zealand, Firefox is really a major player in those markets now.

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TOPICS: Browser
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As a follow-up to my previous post about Firefox market share increasing, note that the XiTi website has some interesting stats Firefox will continue its upward trend, as Enterprises start using it more and graphics showing that Firefox take-up is much higher in parts of Europe and Oceania than in the US, Asia and other parts of the world. With 20% market share across Europe and just below 20% in Australia and New Zealand, Firefox is really a major player in those markets now. Even in North America, the XiTi site puts the Firefox market share at 15.6%. It's the single figure market share in Asia, Africa and South America that causes the global average for Firefox to be just under 13%.

firefox_world.png 

In a corporate blogging program that I'm involved in, a bunch of us were discussing the reasons why Firefox usage is growing. One person noted that in the XiTi survey of European patterns of use, Firefox is most often used at weekends. He inferred that this means personal and household adoption rates are higher than corporate ones.

This trend for Firefox adoption to be driven by the consumer market is a positive sign IMO, because we're currently seeing a larger trend of 'Web 2.0' consumer apps infiltrating the Enterprise. Just today I was speaking to some Salesforce.com execs and one of them pointed out that its Skype mashup is proving very popular amongst its customers. I can point to many other instances of social Web tools becoming utilized a lot more in enterprises - IM, wikis, Web Office services, indeed the software-as-a-service tools that Salesforce.com runs.

My point is that I think Firefox market share will continue its upward trend, particularly when Enterprises start using it more. As most ZDNet readers know, Microsoft has a dominant hold on a lot of Enterprise software - which extends to the browser. In every company I've ever worked at, IE has always been the default browser. That's because corporations are generally reluctant to use open source software, when there is a Microsoft product that fits the bill. Many IT workers use Firefox at home and probably a lot of them try to get Firefox installed as the default browser at their work too - only to be foiled by their company policies and reticence about open source software.

So I think the 15-20% market share will increase over time in Europe, North America and Oceania - as Enterprise takeup of Firefox increases. It still may never become the default browser across most corporations, particularly if Microsoft successfully rolls out Vista to the Enterprise. But that's a big 'if' - a lot of companies have expressed relative indifference about upgrading to Vista. Either way, I expect the Enterprise to drive more Firefox adoption over the next few years. Also I would hope that Asia, Africa and South America begin to migrate more to Firefox - or at least move it into double figures market share!

See also: Firefox usage continues to increase - IE down again; Gnomedex: Blake Ross on open source marketing of Firefox

Topic: Browser

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13 comments
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  • IE 7 will work on XP...

    ... as well as Vista. Enterprises delaying Vista can implement IE 7.

    IE 7 can also affect home use of FireFox among those more interested in features than an anti-Microsoft gesture.
    The distribution of FireFox with Google, etc. has probably produced a significant number of users only slightly attached to it, using it because it installed itself.
    (Though that sounds like spyware, I think it's actually equivalent to IE's advantage with Windows.)

    So when IE 7 installs and asks the unaffiliated if they want to use it, some may well say Yes.


    To me, FireFox's biggest impact is on the chances for other browsers, particularly Opera. IE will always be predominant, and now the alternatre cannot be a commercially viable product. Too bad.
    Anton Philidor
    • And, how does IE get on computers? It not only installs itself, it is NOT

      removable. If you want to talk about the browsers that is used only because it is installed by default, that would be IE. If we turned the tables and installed Firefox by default, and made it so you can't remove it, letting IE compete with downloads, IE market share would quickly drop to zero.
      DonnieBoy
    • Which means that its TAM is

      only about 50%. The rest of the world runs platforms that won't support IE7 such as MSWin98 (at about 20%), MSWinME, MSWin2K, Linux, MacOS, etc.
      Yagotta B. Kidding
      • W2K is an enterprise issue, yes.

        Though some prefer the comparatively primitive interface, the operating system is 6+ years old and has not received XP's upgrading.

        Many in this group probably will go to IE 7 with Vista.


        Any company still using the W95 kernel for any but the most limited purposes must have very straitened financial circumstances.

        Those devices are not likely candidates for any future change.
        Anton Philidor
        • ROI is king

          [i]Any company still using the W95 kernel for any but the most limited purposes must have very straitened financial circumstances.[/i]

          That, or "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

          Making major changes to essential systems needs to be justified. What's the ROI? Can you prove it?
          Yagotta B. Kidding
    • Re: IE 7 will work on XP...

      [i]To me, FireFox's biggest impact is on the chances for other browsers, particularly Opera. IE will always be predominant, and now the alternatre cannot be a commercially viable product. Too bad.[/i]

      Didn't IE knock off Netscape by undermining Netscape's commercial viability?

      How can you blame the free browser used by 1 in 10 for harming Opera and not mention the free browser used by 9 in 10?



      :)
      none none
      • Competition to be the primary alternative.

        FireFox won the competition to be the main alternative to IE. That may or may not be the result of a contest on the merits.

        In either case, as another commentary here observed recently, the other browsers have been relegated to a niche role. The commentator offered Opera the consolation of being successful on mobile devices.

        When I read that, I recollected that Nokia et al funded Mozilla when its survival was at risk in order to encourage the development of "minimo".
        That little browser was an attempt to save costs by... replacing Opera.

        In a market like this one, there can be a single designated alternative to the predominant product. For good or bad, that appears to be FireFox.
        Anton Philidor
    • So what?

      Firefox extensions will ensure that IE will never adequately compete for those who value features. If you're looking for browser hijacks and ad-pushing "search bars", by all means, stick with IE... it's got you covered.

      Your poor attempt at characterizing Firefox as spyware doesn't fly. At no point does Firefox "install itself" with "Google" (no browser exploit there!). You may be thinking of the Google Pack (http://pack.google.com) which clearly advertises its components and requires the user to actively request a download. Google's endorsement of Firefox most likely HAS caused some people to try it who otherwise wouldn't. After all, it's only natural for them to try a browser based on a trusted recommendation rather than continue using the browser they don't trust.

      OTOH, IE has CERTAINLY produced a significant number of users only slightly attached to it, using it only because it's there by default on every machine. That's a significantly greater advantage that cannot explain IE's steady loss of marketshare for reasons other than Firefox's clear superiority.

      As for the commercial viability of other browsers, they haven't been more than niche players in any event. There was no significant commercial alternative to IE before Firefox. Now that Firefox has broken away from the pack as a viable competitor, you fret that the situation for the others hasn't changed. Such crocodile tears you shed!
      dave.leigh@...
      • Breaking from the pack.

        All the competing browsers were niche products, including FireFox and Opera. Any one of them could have gained market share. Opera removed the ads from its free product to eliminate a problem.

        But FireFox won, and, since any product could have won, FireFox's success came at the expense of the ability of other browsers to gain.

        I would have preferred Opera because it's a company that employs the people who work on it. But apparently employment is not a main concern of many determined to escape IE.


        As far as FireFox extensions are concerned, with all the free programs from complete feature sets like Avant! to the single purpose programs I use, IE has always and will always continue to provide more high quality features than FireFox can attain.
        In features, IE has lapped the field several times.


        If you read my post, you'd see I said that FireFox was not spyware despite being a passenger on other programs. And I added that this strategy was a sort of response to IE's presence with every copy of Windows.

        FireFox is attached to the Google toolbar. If you want an example of that download, try Divx. The two are combined.


        Obviously you're advocating for FireFox. And the browser has made progress, as when enough sources were found to download major fixes to a large population rapidly. That wasn't always true.

        FireFox has become so popular that it's flaws have become targets of malware writers. That's the true proof of prevalence.

        You can favor FireFox without invention concerning IE. Advocates should be past that point.
        Anton Philidor
        • It's its.

          That should be "... its flaws ..." Sorry.
          Anton Philidor
  • Microsoft might have to re-think not supporting Win2000 with IE7.

    That could move a whole range of corporations, still on Win2000 to use Firefox. Firefox usage world-wide is not causing a lot of problems for Microsoft. Microsoft had planned to make rich interactive web applications depend on Windows by slowley bluring the difference between standard web applications and proprietary Windows applications. With the market share for Firefox, that no longer works like they wanted.
    DonnieBoy
  • Microsoft is trying to pretend that Firefox usage does not matter.

    The truth is, they did not update IE because they wanted to let the standard web get old and clunky, while they worked on proprietary ways to do rich interactive "web" applications. Then, they slowley blur the difference between the open web and the proprietary web, and bingo, most of the new cool applications only work on Windows.

    Firefox surging has created a lot of problems for that vision, though Microsoft will still try. And, all of the new cool applications do NOT depend on Windows.
    DonnieBoy
    • Wow your title sounds like Anton's babbling as well... (NT)

      (NT)
      ju1ce